INDIANAPOLIS, IN–There will be a sea of red in downtown Indy this weekend as fans of Ohio State and Wisconsin football converge on the Circle City for the BIG10 Championship.
Indiana Sports Corp says more than 76,000 people are expected to fill Lucas Oil Stadium for the game. Another 35,000 fans are expected to attend the BIG10 Fan Fest at the Indiana Convention Center.
All told, BIG10 Weekend is expected to haul in $20 million in revenue for the city.
“Hotels are full, it’s the largest Airbnb weekend of the year, restaurants will be packed as well so it’s a big deal for us,” Sports Corp president Ryan Vaughn said.
Vaughn added that the draw of an undefeated Ohio State team has led to record interest.
“We’ve sold more suites, more VIP, and more regular tickets this year than any other year. And Ohio State and Wisconsin have been here several times,” he said.
Some downtown restaurants say the big weekend has led to an increase in reservations.
“They’re making their reservations months in advance assuming they’re going to be here and trying to get that reservation before we open up,” Brynn Jones, the VP of Marketing for St. Elmo Steakhouse said.
Jones says anyone planning on “walking-in” to the restaurant should expect long wait times.
“There’s only so many seats in our restaurant, and for events like this, St. Elmo will probably be a 3-4 hour wait. It’ll be tough to get into just because of the demand,” he said.
Despite the demand placed on the hospitality industry, ticket brokers say there are still plenty of tickets left for the game.
“Overall, we sold a lot of tickets for the game, most of that is because of Ohio State fans coming into town,” Renny Harrison, owner of Fanfare tickets said.
Harrison adds that a late release of extra seats has also driven prices down, so anyone looking for a last-minute deal is likely to find one.
” It’s a good opportunity for fans if they’re looking for something to do tomorrow,” Harrison said.